Rick's Cabaret Challenges City of Minneapolis' After-Hours
MINNEAPOLIS - First Amendment attorney Randall Tigue told
AVN.com Tuesday the City of Minneapolis' latest attempt to
prevent Rick's Cabaret, a popular topless nightclub, from
staying open after hours was fruitless.
"I'm at a loss on this," Tigue said. "How many times do these
government officials needs to get hit over the head by a
two-by-four? The city is persisting on appealing when they know
full well they've been hammered on these identical issues twice
in the past."
Rick's obtained a temporary injunction in January 2000 from the
Hennepin County District Court that permits topless performances
to continue until 3 a.m., despite the repeal of a Minneapolis
ordinance regarding after-hours entertainment. But the city has
now taken the case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, where
arguments will commence early next year.
"The city made a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the
lawsuit and the district court denied it, so the city is
appealing," Tigue said.
The current fight is based on Rick's Cabaret's application to
the city in December 1999 in which it asked to continue
operating between 1-3 a.m. Since the city took no action on the
application for a year, the company filed suit in December 1999
challenging both the ordinance and the application process as
unconstitutional. In addition, it sought damages of more than $1
million in lost revenue.
Until its repeal last month, the 1998 ordinance allowed central
business district nightspots to stay open from 1-3 a.m. to
provide entertainment, but not to serve liquor.
"We got an injunction saying you folks can operate whether they
give you a license or not. This time around, Rick's threw in a
claim for damages," Tigue said.
The City has lost two other cases pertaining to adult
entertainment in the past two decades. In Tigue's 1987 case of
Alexander v. Bergquist, the court declared that the city's
theater and place of entertainment licensing ordinances were
unconstitutional because they permitted the city to hold up
license applications indefinitely; and in Mga Susu, Inc. v. City
of Minneapolis (1996), the District Court issued an injunction
against the city in another licensing application case involving
the all-nude 418 Club.
Tigue said the transcript of the current proceeding must be
submitted by Friday, and then the city has 30 days to file a
brief. After that, Rick's has 30 days to respond.
"Once the city appeals the injunction to the Court of Appeals,
it loses the ability to go back to district court as long as the
appeal is pending," Tigue said, adding that Rick's would likely
find itself in a unique position next month.
"The late-night license expires on Dec. 31, and everybody that
has a license, come Dec. 31, will have to close at 1, except for
The Texas-based Rick's is the only publicly traded company in
the topless entertainment business. Rick's owns and/or operates
four Rick's Cabaret locations in Houston and Minneapolis, and
two XTC Cabarets located in San Antonio and Austin.